Health Outcomes Liaison and Managed Care Liaison Teams (PH188)

Delivering Health Economics and Clinical Data to Payers
Download Here
Published 2013
120 Pages
500+ Metrics
80+ Charts and Diagrams

Develop A Proactive, Dedicated HOL Team Using Industry Benchmarks and Best Practices

As payer demands mount, payer liaison groups have become a critical component of the reimbursement puzzle in both the US and single-payer markets. Whether they are called health outcomes liaisons (HOLs), managed care liaisons (MCLs) or something else, these teams combine their expertise in economics and clinical science to communicate product value to payers and earn formulary spots for their drugs.

This study contains benchmarks and best practices for the management of existing payer liaison teams and the development of new ones (collectively referred to as HOL teams). The study’s metrics explore team resources and infrastructure, as well as HOL activity levels and payer interactions. Because HOL team effectiveness relies so heavily on personnel, the study’s findings also break down compensation as well as ideal HOL education and experience.

Top Reasons to Review This Report

Right-size and position your HOL team to maximize impact: Examine real-company structures and see why many leading companies place HOLs under the medical affairs structure. Compare team sizes and ratios (commercial account rep-to-HOL and field manager-to-HOL metrics) to determine ideal staffing numbers and budget allocation.

Assemble an HOL team with superior skills and diverse experience: Find the right mix of educational and healthcare experience and competitive compensation to attract and retain high-caliber liaisons at different levels. Equip these new hires — and support ongoing personnel development — with well-designed training programs.

Strengthen payer relationships and build a convincing product dossier: Compare benchmarks and rankings to see how often — and with which tools — teams should communicate with payers. Explore timelines to determine the right time for HOL brand support and ensure the best use of resources. Discover how top companies align messages across teams and coordinate HOLs with other field forces to deliver a strong product story.

Key Questions that This Study Answers

  1. How many HOLs should my company have on staff?
  2. How much budget should be allocated to the HOL team?
  3. What education and experience should an ideal HOL candidate possess?
  4. How often should an HOL communicate with a payer account?
  5. At what point in a product’s development should HOLs begin supporting it?

Health Outcomes Liaison Metrics

Chapter 1: Pinpointing HOL Team Alignment and Resource Allocation

Chapter Benefits

  • Position HOLs under medical affairs to optimize their role and responsibilities as both health economics and medical/scientific reps.
  • Implement field-based team management to increase HOLs’ efficiency.
  •  Create smaller teams to build one-to-one relationships during quarterly payer visits.
  • Use ratios of commercial account reps per HOL to right-size teams.
  • Match budgets to staffing levels to cover HOL salaries, travel, and overhead.

Chapter Data

30 charts exploring infrastructure data for HOL teams in the US, Canada and the UK, including budget and staffing figures.

  • Diagrams of real-company structures
  • HOL team placement within organizations
  • Position to which HOL leadership reports
  • HOL team alignment by geographic area, therapeutic area, or account
  •  Number of HOLs (Top 10, Top 20, small companies)
  • HOL team annual budget and budget allocation
  • Average cost per HOL (Top 10, Top 20, small companies)
  • Age of HOL teams (Top 10, Top 20, small companies)

Chapter 2: HOL Field Activities: Brand Support, Payer Interactions and Coordination With Other Field Forces

Chapter Benefits

  • Learn the ideal time for HOLs to start and stop supporting a drug to maximize its product value.
  • Transition HOLs from a reactive group which responds to requests to a proactive team that anticipates payer requirements.
  • Target pharmacy directors involved in formulary decision-making.
  • Explore which tools and data deliver the highest impact during payer visits.
  • Investigate payers’ preferred frequency and methods of communication to make the most of reimbursement conversations.
  • Coordinate efforts between MSLs and HOLs to deliver a complete product picture to payers.
  • Understand why HOLs may respond to unsolicited questions about off-label uses and pipeline products.

Chapter Data

26 charts detailing HOL brand support timelines, frequency of payer visits, payers’ preferred means of communication and interaction between HOLs and MSLs.

Brand Support

  • Stages at which HOL teams begin and end support for drugs (US, Canada/UK)
  • Overall HOL brand support, by lifecycle stage (US, Canada/UK)

HOL Time Allocation, Payer Visit Duration, and Payer Communication Tools

  • Percentage breakdown of HOL time spent on specific activities (US, Canada/ UK)
  • HOL-payer interactions per quarter for top-level, mid-level and low-level payers, by company (US)
  • Face-to-face visits by HOL per quarter, by company (US)
  • Telephone interactions per quarter, by company (US)
  • Email exchanges per quarter, by company (US)
  • Number of HOLs assigned to a payer, by company (US, Canada/UK)
  • Length of a face-to-face payer visit, by company (US, Canada/UK)
  • Effectiveness ratings of tools used in payer conversations (US, Canada/UK)

HOL-MSL Interaction

  • Prominence of teams in which HOLs and MSLs call on same clients
  • Ways in which HOL and MSL interact in US

Chapter 3: Building HOL Teams Through Targeted Hiring and Training

Chapter Benefits

Build a top-notch HOL team:

  • See who fills HOL roles at companies without HOLs — and why a dedicated team is more effective
  • Gain insights and strategic recommendations from leading companies that are planning to implement HOL teams.
  • Attract and retain high-caliber HOLs:
  • Identify the right mix of educational and experience qualifications
  • Compensate competitively using benchmarking data at different levels of experience
  • Dedicate sufficient training hours to both new hires and existing employees

Chapter Data

24 charts detailing HOL team creation, candidate qualifications, compensation and training.

HOL Team Creation:

  • Percentage of companies with an HOL team
  • Positions that currently fill the HOL role at companies without an HOL team
  • Size of companies with a dedicated HOL team (Top 10, Top 20, small)
  • Percentage of companies planning to create an HOL team
  • Timeframe for implementing HOL team

HOL Qualifications, Compensation and Training:

  • Ideal education level for HOL new hires (US, Canada/UK)
  • Preferred number of years of experience for HOL new hires (US, Canada/UK)
  • Ideal job experience of HOL new hires (US: Top 10 and Top 20 companies, Canada/UK)
  • Average HOL compensation, by years of experience (US, Canada/UK)
  • Hours of training provided to newly hired HOLs (US, Canada/UK)
  • Frequency of HOL training (US, Canada/UK)
  • Average number of hours of ongoing training provided to HOLs annually, by company (US, Canada/UK)

Excerpt from HOL/MCL Report

The following finding is excerpted from the full report's Executive Summary:

HOL Teams Do Not Need Tremendous Headcounts to Be Effective

Compared to other pharma field forces such as sales, or even MSL groups, HOL teams do not maintain — or need — nearly as many outside reps to successfully complete their duties. Figure E.7 shows that surveyed companies’ US teams range between 3 and 14 HOLs. This data spans Top 10 companies’ teams down to very small biotech companies’ HOL groups. Typically with pharma field forces, such variances in company size reveal large discrepancies in those field forces’ staffing levels.

For HOL teams, however, this is not the case. HOL teams do not have nearly the number of targets as other field forces. The number of payers, even in payer-heavy markets like the US, is limited. Though the largest of payers do have regional offices in addition to their corporate locations, interviewed executives reveal that visiting these regional centers is not important beyond simply showing payers how important they are to their companies. Key reimbursement decisions happen almost exclusively at the corporate offices making them the real target audience.

Combining the limited number of targets with the fact that payers almost universally ask to see only one HOL per company — and that visits be limited to a few times annually (see Figure E.8) —it is not surprising that HOL teams run with small headcounts. Even the largest pharmaceutical companies have smaller HOL headcounts. As HOL teams’ approach shift from reactive to proactive and in light of increased requests for HEOR type information by payers, these numbers could increase, though not by a great deal.